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Dudley C. Wells, Twin Valley, Minn., Published April 11 2013

Letter: Supporters of ND abortion bills laboring under misconceptions

I was pleased and appreciative of The Forum’s strongly worded editorials attempting to talk some sense to the North Dakota governor and Legislature regarding passage of recent abortion legislation. Opposing opinions on the March 28 editorial page show me that abortion opponents are laboring under major misconceptions.

Unlike the Rev. Tom Eckstein, in my scriptural reading the only common reference to the beginning of life is at “quickening,” the earliest noticeable movement of a fetus in the womb.

The real debate within the Roman Catholic Church was at what point the human fetus gains its soul. For centuries it was assumed that ensoulment happened at 40 days for males and 80 days for females. As a result, early term abortions were not considered serious offenses.

In 1859, the Vatican decreed that ensoulment occurred at conception, and from that time on, the Catholic Church in the U.S. began to push for state laws criminalizing all abortions.

Zealous abortion foes have now warped this same article of religious faith into a bogus civil rights issue. They have created a fuzzy new citizenship status giving full rights to embryos and fetuses, which destroys many alternatives once open to grown women, and in cases of unwanted pregnancies, forces women into involuntary servitude, if not outright slavery.

Gary Kubalak draws a direct parallel between the 1857 Supreme Court Dred Scott slavery decision and the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Kubalak ignores the fact that many, many women fought long and hard to challenge the anti-abortion laws, and that Roe v. Wade emancipates modern American women from the archaic drudgery of endless pregnancies.

Women today can have exactly the number of children they want when they want them, and this opens their lives to fine educational opportunities and interesting careers outside the home.

The Dred Scott decision told black slaves that they were no more than breeding stock. Roe v. Wade told women precisely the opposite. North Dakota lawmakers apparently are more attuned to their livestock than they are to their womenfolk.